Thoughts from Thomas A’ Kempis — “No Comparing”
April 14, 2009
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I read the following thought this morning from Thomas A’ Kempis’ classic The Imitation of Christ, modern version by William C. Creasy. It has to do with the whole issue of comparing ourselves to others. I’ve had my share of struggles with this issue and, in fact, have written a book on the subject called The Comparison Game. Here’s Kempis’ thoughts —
“Lord,… All that we have in soul and in body and whatever outward or inward, natural or supernatural qualities we possess, they are your blessings and they celebrate your bounty, mercy, and goodness; from you we have received all good things.
“One who has received more should not boast of his own merit nor lift himself above others nor look down on those having less…
“One who has received less ought not to become dejected nor indignant nor envy the someone who has received more. Instead, he should turn to you and greatly praise your goodness, because you bestow your gifts so abundantly, so willingly, so freely, without considering a person’s rank or worth… Why this person has less and that person has more is not our business but yours…
“Nothing, therefore, ought so to delight one who loves you and knows your kindnesses than that your will and your eternal purposes be accomplished in him…
“He is as cheerful being ignored and rejected, devoid of name and reputation, as another is when he is thought to be full of honor and greatness.
“Your will and the love of your honor ought to take first place above all else. They should please and comfort a person better than all the blessings which one has or ever will have.”